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Compensation Payments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

Two recent court cases, one ending in a High Court decision and the other in a settlement agreement, may have significant implications for compensation payments from Australian governments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Read more...

Unconscionability and a 'Hobsons choice'

In Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Kobelt a majority of the High Court rejected the proposition that Mr Kobelt’s provision of book-up credit to a remote Indigenous community was unconscionable conduct in connection with financial services, pursuant to section 12CB of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (ASIC Act). Background Mr Kobelt operated a general store in Mintabie, South Australia. He sold goods including food, groceries, fuel and second-hand cars. Almost all of his customers were Anangu persons who resided in two remote communities in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands). Mr Kobelt provided credit to Anan... Read more...

Water Amendment (Indigenous Authority Member) Bill 2019

The Water Amendment (Indigenous Authority Member) Bill 2019 was introduced by the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, in the House of Representatives on 20 February 2019.  The Bill amends the Water Act 2007  to add an Indigenous person, referred to as the ‘standing Indigenous Authority member’, to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (the Authority). This will increase the Authority from six to seven members. The position does not preclude other Indigenous members. The Bill gives effect to a decision of the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council on 14 December 2018 that a standing Indigenous Authority member position should be... Read more...

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